Sun 21 May 2023

Olé Ola! Nore begins 10th Junior ERC season with a win

Norway’s Ola Nore made history as the first driver to win in the FIA Junior ERC Championship using Hankook tyres.

Hankook is the new Junior ERC tyre supplier for 2023 and its tyres equipped the 16-strong line-up entered for ORLEN 79th Rally Poland, which signalled the start of the 10th Junior ERC season.

With Rune Eilertsen co-driving his Renault Clio Rally4, Nore was in control for much of the event.

Starting leg two leading by 39.5sec, he took victory by an impressive margin of 1min 02.1sec ahead of Romania’s Norbert Maior (Peugeot 208 Rally4) and Swede Victor Hansen, who was also at the wheel of a Peugeot.

“This was not the plan to win,” said Nore. “We were thinking of course we were going to try but my goal before was to get more experience and get a good result, but I didn’t think we could do it like this. We really tried and the team, my mum, how they support me has been very good and I really need to thank them for giving me the chance to do this. It’s amazing.”

Maior described finishing second alongside his co-driving sister Francesca Maior as being “like a victory” after he revealed he only secured the backing needed to take part two weeks prior to the event.

Behind Hansen, whose father is one of the mechanics in his small family-run team, Roberto Daprà finished fourth to make up for the roll he suffered on this event last year.

Finnish champion Miko Jalava was the best of the Junior ERC rookies in fifth, one place ahead of Max McRae, the youngest driver in the field aged 18. Colin McRae’s nephew was delayed by an electrical issue and a problem starting SS9 when his Opel Corsa Rally4 bogged down in the deep ruts.

Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy’s Aoife Raftery finished seventh on her Junior ERC debut, demoting Mattia Zanin on the Power Stage after the ACI Team Italia driver’s Peugeot developed intercooler problems during the final two stages.

Hungarian Patrik Herczig and Mexican Patrice Spitalier restarted after rolling into retirement on leg one to finish ninth and 10th respectively.

Timo Schulz’s return to action after stopping on Saturday with a damaged oil coiler should have netted a top 10 finish on his first outing as his prize for winning the ADAC Opel e-Rallye Cup in 2022. However, a crash for the German put him out on the Power Stage.

Mille Johansson was fifth overnight but damaged his Ford Fiesta Rally4 in his bid to catch Daprà for fourth before driveshaft failure struck on SS13. Alfred Kramer was heading for a points finish on his Junior ERC debut but went off the road on SS10.

Simon Andersson ran as high as fifth but went off on SS5. An oil cooler issue accounted for Fabian Zeiringer when the former ski racer was running in the top 10. René Noller was in fifth position when he crashed on SS7.

Latvia
Starts: Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 4:31:00 AM
Italy
Starts: Friday, July 26, 2024 at 7:00:00 AM
Hungary
Starts: Saturday, July 27, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM